The Gilbert Arenas rule meant Clarkson could have maxed out at $61 million on four years, so this is a fine deal for the Lakers. Clarkson will resume his role with minutes in the low 30s in what should be a faster, more-productive Lakers offense. Coach Luke Walton could maximize Clarkson, so he's on the radar as a mid-round pick in his age-24 season.
It is life-changing money after a breakout season. Whiteside will be signing a contract worth roughly 100 times more than what he made this past season, when he averaged 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and a league-best 3.7 blocked shots per game. His career path is well-known, taking him to less-than-glamorous leagues in Lebanon and China, stints in the NBA Development League and even getting cut from teams at that level. The Heat signed him in November 2014, and less than two years later Whiteside has become one of the game's most dominant centers -- and one of the highest-paid players in Miami franchise history. Part of that is simply because of the enormous jump in the salary cap this summer, but part of that is because of the potential the Heat see in Whiteside. What he did this past season left such an impression on Heat President Pat Riley that the nine-time NBA champion went into this summer stating publicly that keeping Whiteside was Miami's No. 1 priority.
This comes out of nowhere and the Pistons have their backup point guard. Smith ran Philadelphia's offense with 32.4 minutes per game, averaging 14.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.9 treys. He'll have to work on his range for coach Stan Van Gundy and he won't have anywhere close to as much fantasy value in Detroit. Additionally, Philadelphia really needs a point guard now.
The NBA’s leading rebounder quickly cashes in despite his woeful 35.5 percent from the line last season. Drummond has been remarkably durable, missing just one game due to injury in his last three seasons. The NBA is expected to alter their intentional fouling rule, which should help Drummond stay on the floor throughout the game. He’s a good bet to match his league-leading 66 double-doubles from last season as a DFS monster in his upcoming age-23 season.
This isn't close to the max for Batum, so it's pretty solid bargain for the Hornets -- relative to the other deals, of course. The Hornets not having to max Batum could help them bring on another free agent, including guys like Courtney Lee or Jeremy Lin. Batum does have a player option for the fifth season, as well. The 27-year-old Frenchman was terrific after the break, averaging 15.0 points, 5.4 boards, 6.1 assists, 1.8 treys and 1.0 steals. He'll be an early-round target in fantasy again.
Another productive night for the 29-year-old third baseman. d’Arnaud had an RBI single in the sixth, an RBI double in the eight and scored the first run of the ballgame in the third on a Freddie Freeman triple. He has proven to be very versatile for the Braves, already playing five different positions this year. He is batting a very sweet .276/.349/.366 in 42 games and could be a nice flier pick up in deeper NL-only leagues. The Braves will continue their series with the Marlins on Friday night as Justin Nicolino takes the mound for Miami. d’Arnaud has never faced the 24-year-old before.
Freeman’s triple in the third inning was his second triple in his last three games and his fourth of the season. What would the Braves be without Freeman in the lineup? He has been their most consistent threats all season. The first baseman is batting .285/.370/.502 with 13 homers, 29 RBI and 37 runs scored through 78 games. The Braves will continue their series with the Marlins on Friday night as Justin Nicolino takes the mound for Miami. Freeman has had five career at-bats against the 24-year-old and has just one hit.